A British study of gang members found many suffer mental health problems, primarily related to exposure to violence.
Anxiety disorders and PTSD seem to be common, reports the BBC
“Experts said opportunities to help young people were often missed.
“The research team from Queen Mary, University of London, started by surveying 4,664 men aged between 18 and 34 in Britain. Researchers included significant numbers of men from areas of the country with high gang memberships, such as Hackney and Glasgow East, from areas with high ethnic minority populations and areas of social deprivation.
“The gang members and the violent men were found to be particularly prone to mental disorders and more likely to access psychiatric services. Prof Jeremy Coid, lead study author and director of the forensic psychiatry research unit at Queen Mary, University of London, explained the likely cause.
“It is probable that, among gang members, high levels of anxiety disorder and psychosis were explained by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the most frequent psychiatric outcome of exposure to violence.” He said the fear of future violence and victimisation led young men to experience extreme anxiety. Continue reading “Gangs and mental health”
The light went on in my head during a debate over PTSD nomenclature last year.
Then-president of the American Psychiatric Association, John Oldham, was chairing a session entitled Combat-Related PTSD: Injury or Disorder? Today’s Time Magazine carries a no-nonsense article about what PTSD is, exactly.
“A stellar panel of trauma experts — retired generals, senior researchers and key framers of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — debated whether the term, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should be changed to post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI).
“Supporters of the change to “injury” argued that it might help overcome the stigma that many military members and veterans associate with seeking treatment for PTSD. Service members aren’t happy to report “a disorder” but might be willing to admit an injury. Those in opposition argued that “injury” is too imprecise a term for psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. As I sat through the heated session, it struck me that they were also implying that the term, disorder, is somehow “more scientific” and, therefore, “more psychiatric.” Continue reading “PTSD explained”
Bryan Piperno was just 9 years old when he began keeping his secret. The Simi Valley youngster tossed out lunches or claimed he ate elsewhere. As he grew older, he started purging after eating. Even after his vomiting landed him in the emergency room during college, he lied to hide the truth, reports today’s LA Times.
“Piperno, now 25, slowly fended off his eating disorder with time and care, including a stay in a residential treatment facility. But surveys show a rising number of teenage boys in Los Angeles now struggle with similar problems.
“High school boys in Los Angeles are twice as likely to induce vomiting or use laxatives to control their weight as the national average, with 5.2% of those surveyed saying they had recently done so, according to the most recent survey data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionand the Los Angeles Unified School District. They are also more likely to have used diet pills, powders or liquids than boys nationwide.
“The numbers challenge old assumptions that boys are immune to a problem better known to afflict teenage girls. Girls still exceed boys in fasting to lose weight, but the latest data, from 2011, showed that Los Angeles boys were nearly as likely as girls to purge through vomiting or laxatives. They were also as likely as girls to use diet pills, powders or liquids without the advice of a doctor — 6.2% said they recently used such substances, compared with 6.1% of girls. Continue reading “Boys with eating disorders”
One out of about 2,800 people in Sapporo is suffering from gender identity disorder, according to a survey compiled recently by a medical group in Hokkaido. As Japan Times today reports
“On a national scale, the ratio would translate into about 46,000 patients across Japan, which is more than 10 times the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s nationwide estimate of at least 4,000 GID patients in 2011.
“Mikiya Nakatsuka, head of the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder, said the Hokkaido outcome is close to what he feels the real GID total should be.
“This is going to be important data when we discuss whether patients should get insurance coverage for treatments, such as gender reassignment surgery,” Nakatsuka said. The result was based on data from 82 Sapporo natives who were diagnosed with GID by Sapporo Medical University Hospital between 2003 and 2012. Continue reading “Gender identity disorder seen rising in Japan”
For anyone who hasn’t heard about Andrew Solomon’s Far from the Tree, this book is much more than a tome (900+ pages) about parents and special-needs kids. Solomon has written a tour-de-force discussion on difference and identity worthy of anyone’s attentions, especially those of us who do not conform to the tyranny of normativity. Julie Myerson wrote a wonderful piece on the book in a recent New York Times Book Review. While the later chapters in Far From the Tree each could be their own separate books about specific conditions of being, the first 200 pages are pure gold. As Myerson begins her review,
“How does it feel to be the mother of a teenage dwarf who’s desperate to start dating? What if you love the daughter you conceived when you were raped but can’t bear to be touched by her? And, as the father of a happy, yet profoundly deaf son who’s forgotten how it feels to hear, how do you deal with your memories of the times you played music together? Continue reading “Far from the tree”
In what follows, Elspeth Cameron Ritchie discusses PTSD with a degree of nuance not always seen in mainstream journalism. Ritchie notes her ambivalence over the frequency with which the diagnosis is assigned to milirary personnel, inasmuch as other disorders can go untreated as a consequence. As she writes, “This is the last in my series of posts on the ethics of treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (the first simply outlined ethical issues for military mental-health personnel; then I wrote about the right time to send a service member back into combat; Continue reading “Diagnostic quandaries and PTSD”
A large study suggests that people with serious attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are less likely to commit crimes when taking medication. It is widely known within psychiatry that ADHD symptoms can include difficulties with impulse control, which in some cases can lead to law breaking
As reported in today’s New York Times, “The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, examined records of 25,000 people in Sweden to see if those with A.D.H.D. had fewer criminal convictions when taking medication than when they were not. Of 8,000 people whose medication use fluctuated over a three-year period, men were 32 percent less likely and women were 41 percent Continue reading “Medications help prevent those with ADHD from law breaking”